Newsquest Group and Local Journalism in London

Wednesday 2 December 2015, all day

Motion detail

This Assembly supportive response to its previous motion expressing concern over staffing changes and restructuring at the Newsquest Group, whose publications include:

The Croydon Guardian, Sutton Guardian, Epsom Guardian, Wimbledon Guardian, Wandsworth Guardian, Balham and Tooting Guardian, Mitcham and Morden Guardian, Kingston Guardian, Surrey Comet, Elmbridge Comet, Richmond & Twickenham Times, and The News Shopper - for Lewisham, Greenwich, Bexley and Bromley.

This Assembly agrees with the Mayor that local newspapers are part of the fabric of London’s local communities and play a vital role in informing people about grassroots subjects that matter to Londoners.

This Assembly believes that local newspapers continue to be a key source of information for many of London’s diverse communities, and perform a powerful public scrutiny function by holding local government and other organisations to account for their actions.  

This Assembly is concerned by the recent announcement that Newsquest is to move eight posts on its titles in south London to its production centres in Weymouth and Newport – a move which the Assembly believes will threaten the quality and long term survival of local papers in south London.

This Assembly therefore calls on:

  1. The Mayor to write to the CEO of Newsquest Group expressing further concern over the relocation of local media jobs outside London.
  2. The Chair of the London Assembly’s Economy Committee, in consultation with party Group Leads, to include the contribution of local newspapers to London’s economy and their role in connecting local communities and businesses together in the list of future topics for possible investigation identified through the Committee’s work programme.